Monday, February 8, 2010

In which I announce my candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

I appreciate Governor Quinn's willingness to open the position of Lieutenant Governor to applications from the public. The Democratic Party has, yet again, lived up to its name. I value the courage he's shown in tackling the elitism and insider politics that plague Illinois government, and I have faith that my application will be taken seriously, in the spirit in which it is intended.

Here's how Quinn described what he's looking for in a running mate:

I want to run with somebody who's qualified to be governor, who has a record of public service, someone who is able to speak to ordinary, everyday people in plain language about the importance of the economy and someone who also stands up for the progressive values of the Democratic party

I think I meet these criteria.

Additionally, I have experience in many of the policy areas our state government needs to tackle in the next term. As a teacher, I have seen firsthand the improvements our educational system needs, and I have big ideas about how to enable students to succeed. As a displaced teacher, I also have firsthand experience with the effects of shortfalls in educational funding.

The Democratic Party has a proud tradition of representing working people in America. As one of very few candidates who do not earn above the state's median income, I am a part of that tradition. I also have experience balancing a budget, even when things get tight – something I know our state government is having trouble with.

It's also worth mentioning, since it seems like it's something we've been having trouble with lately, that I have never been violent toward any of the women in my life. I have also never been involved in predatory lending.

Here are a few of the things I would try to use this office to do:

  • Abolish legal marriage, and replace it with packages of rights and supports granted on a per-household basis, without regard for sexual orientation, relationship status, or age.

  • Investigate what true equality for all genders would look like, and how it can be achieved.

  • Rethink the way we organize our households to allow more collective responsibility for the healthy development of our children, and distribute the burdens and blessings of child-rearing more equally among genders.

  • Rethink the phrase “healthy development of our children.”

  • Change the Illinois constitution to allow for multiple tax brackets, rather than the flat-tax-with-exemptions system in place now. Use this reformed tax system to drastically raise taxes on all income above $200,000 per year, and a sliding scale for incomes in the upper-middle range.

  • Abolish inheritance. Use the funds this generates to empower all youth to choose their educational and career outcomes.

  • Change the Illinois constitution to create participatory, direct democracy on a local level, and to allow all power to rest in these local governments, except those powers they specifically vest in the state.

  • Abolish corporations. Redistribute all corporate wealth to cooperatives, workers' councils, and local governments.

  • Abolish the sales tax.

  • Dissolve the Illinois National Guard. Replace it with a corps of teachers, community organizers, engineers, doctors, nurses, and other people whose jobs involve generating value.

  • Institute an immediate moratorium on all prison sentences. Reinvent the justice system as a place for the resolution of conflicts – the set of practices Jesus Christ referred to collectively as “binding and loosing.”

  • Immediately begin the reintegration of prisoners into society.

  • Disarm police.

  • Pay massive reparations to black people and American Indians.

  • Abolish tax increment financing.

  • Call for a federal constitutional convention to address some of the same issues on a federal level.

I think I've got a real chance here, folks.

Update: Check out my campaign's official position on the Participatory Socialist International.

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